Saturday, September 29, 2012

Back to Blogging. What’s changed? Nada.

Well, finally, I can take some time on a Saturday afternoon and bang out a post.  The ice cream store is closed, the season is over, and when we last left this pithy blog, I had high hopes of playing real-money-online and LEGAL poker by this time.


Oh sure, there has been “progress” since we last met:
  • PokerStars bought out Full Tilt and is trying to get back into the DOJ’s good graces
  • Nevada and other states aren’t waiting for the Feds to get their stuff together and made their own decision to legalize intra-state online poker (Nevada has already issues some licenses, and South Point Casino hopes to be live for Nevadans by the end of the year)
  • Senators Reid and Kyl have another bill - I don’t think much of it, and neither does the PPA, but that last sentence rhymes, so I had to add it.
Now friends, I plan to talk about all of the above eventually (gotta make up for lost time) and more, but for now let me set you straight as to why this online poker thing is taking so long.  It’s the same reason most everything involving lots of $$$$$$$$$$$$ takes a long time and is subject to tons of maneuvering, politics, back-stabbing, and other legal and not-so shenanigans.

It’s the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Money drives it.  Money motivates. Follow the money.  Money makes the world go ‘round, and it all comes down to money.

With the states and the feds, major players are “strategizing” (read: manipulating)  so that they (or their constituents or supporters) can be first (or the only ones) to cash in.  The Native American casinos in California take a dim view of that state’s push for online intrastate poker…unless they can find a way to be a part of it, too.  The Fed issue has more players, and therefore, is more complex (and that doesn’t even take into consideration the many who don’t want ANY online gambling for moral reasons, which we’ll discuss in another post).  It’s all about money, though.

Long ago, I remember a discussion with a broadcasting guru about the NFL and how they convinced CBS to downplay (read: eliminate) discussion of the point spreads in their pre-game shows.  “The NFL is certainly against betting on the games,” I said.  “You’d think they’d promote the spreads given how many fans actually put money on the games, or have betting pools at work.”

“Oh the NFL isn’t against betting on games so much as they haven’t figured out how to get a cut,” he replied.  “Once the NFL finds a way to get what they perceive as their deserved 5%, they’ll let Jimmy the Greek talk all he wants about Green Bay being plus three.”

And so it goes, or doesn’t…as the power brokers and moneyed interests jockey for position, we players sit and wait.  Again.  Still.  See?  Nothing’s really changed.